I have come to understand why many otherwise reasonable Americans – including some whose lives have been saved at extraordinary expense borne by the current allegedly horrible, inequitable system – support the drive for socialized medicine. It has taken me some time, but the answer is not entirely dramatic: these people actually hold in their minds the following beliefs simultaneously:
- “We can insure 40 million who previously had no insurance AND my insurance/health benefits will be the same or better…”
- “Healthcare can be made affordable for 100% of the population AND there will not be any rationing of medical procedures, personnel, and resources (in fact, ‘rationing’ is just a Republican scare tactic)…”
- “We can insure 40 million who previously had no insurance AND healthcare can be made affordable for 100% of the population AND Obama and Pelosi are correct when they tell me the program will save us money…”
This kind of fantasizing reminds me of those magical days in 7th grade when we thought we had it all figured out but knew next to nothing about anything; there was a great joy in the naive ‘knowledge’ that we had discovered how the world could in fact be made perfect, if only the adults would step aside and let us unleash our cold-fusion reactors on the soon-to-be-unimpressive list of conundrums. The economic concept of how best to allocate finite resources? Never heard of it, and don’t need it: there sure seems to be an excess of stuff to go around! In fact, America is overflowing with stuff and that’s all I’ve ever known and it will always be that way!! What’s there to worry about?
But we are all on a journey of self discovery, and the evolution beyond such fantasies comes to some early, some late, and some never at all (at least in this lifetime). Perhaps the Sword can accelerate this process for some Obama supporters…
Regarding the rationing of medical resources: dramatic moves away from allowing the mechanism of price as derived through supply and demand to govern the production of a good almost always reduces the availability of that good. If you have any doubt, do a little research into centrally planned economies and see if they are competitive with largely free-market economies. Or spare yourself the research and just know that China abandoned central planning in recent decades, started selling off state-owned enterprises, and allowed free market reforms, all in order to create enough wealth to feed its population and compete with the world’s lone superpower (and it’s working). Vietnam is in the middle of doing the same thing. Still not convinced? Just read some accounts of the largest mass murder in human history, the collectivization (and central planning) of agriculture by Mao and by Stalin, which turned food surpluses into shortages and starved tens of millions of people to death.
But I can feel my words moving further away from their intended target…so no more fancy talk. Just ask yourself an easy question: if you and a roommate live in a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom, and your average wait-time to take a shower is two minutes, and then one day 10 people move in with you and share the same space, and pay you no rent…Will your average wait-time for the shower every day be (a) longer, (b) shorter, or (c) the same?
You see, that wasn’t so bad, right! Congratulations on answering with (a), it shows that you have not lost the ability to reason. If you answered (b) or (c), you are beyond help and should check in to a mental facility immediately.
But we are not done with rationing: now imagine that the building superintendent tells you that your apartment is consuming too much water, and that, in order to be fair to your neighbors, your apartment will only be allowed 200 gallons per day (enough for perhaps four 5-minute showers). Twelve people….four showers per day. Can all twelve people take a five-minute shower every day?
Congratulations on answering “No”! This shows that you can do basic math. [Bonus answer: “No, but all 12 could shower if each takes a shorter shower of perhaps 80 seconds each…” Quality going down.] But now comes the really tough question: Who of the twelve gets a 5-minute shower today? And then Who gets it next (tomorrow)?
And finally the toughest question of all: Who decides? You may say that, of course, you decide: it’s your apartment! It’s your shower! But oh no, no, no, you see, it is not “your” anything, and you are not the Czar of this building. You will make no such decisions, because you’ve ceded this part of your life to Obama’s loyal lieutenants.
To the Liberal mind, this new arrangement of infrequent showers under a regime of rationing by a bureaucrat who no doubt behaves like a bouncer working the rope line at a fancy club (i.e., like an arrogant prick who takes bribes from those who aren’t the pretty people, and then still makes them wait) is, I suppose, some kind of heaven. Hey, 10 people have a place to shower, right? But to the sane mind, this new arrangement is an unnecessary tragedy, particularly when we substitute important medical procedures for ‘showers’ and 270 million Americans for the two roommates.
The Sword admires those who can disgorge their fantasies, and then know, admit, and own the implications of what they support, and it would do his heart good if supporters of socialized medicine could take that first step (“DISGORGE”) and realize that what they seek
- will make their health benefits worse (not better, and not the same)
- will involve rationing by government bureaucrats who will leverage their positions of power into systems of corruption and patronage
- will cost a fortune and require yet more borrowing from China (aka, we can’t afford it)
If the greater good is truly what you seek, then do not destroy the current system, but fix some of its shortcomings with a scalpel, and not a blunt instrument. Together we must end the statist nightmare and
Wake Up….Wake Up….Wake Up…. (11)